Waitaki District Health Services

Alert

Due to the ongoing precautions we need to ensure are in place with Covid-19.
The hospital visiting hours are:
2pm until 4pm & 6pm until 8pm
Visitors are still limited to one visitor per patient.

Ensuring Support is Available for Those Most in Need   - 1st Apr 2020

Ensuring Support is Available for Those Most in Need  

With the country in lock down many minds are turning to the elderly and vulnerable who may be without assistance at this time. 

Civil Defence and Emergency Management Otago acknowledges that it is natural and admirable to want to support others but is asking that people direct their efforts to the right place. 

“First and foremost, the best thing everyone can do to help one another is follow the Ministry of Health advice on staying healthy and staying in your bubble,” said CDEM Group Controller Richard Saunders.  

“Once you are sure you have your own health in hand, call or text friends, whānau and neighbours to see if anyone in your local networks needs support but make sure you follow the health guidance.” 

That guidance is to: 

  • Leave groceries at the door, rather than come in. Drop-off at the door (rather than coming in) will protect vulnerable people from exposure to COVID-19
  • Stay at least two metres away from people who are outside your own bubble
  • Use phones or online ways to keep in communication with those you are supporting
  • Maintain good hand hygiene. Wash your hands often using soap for 20 seconds and dry them. 

 

For those who can provide additional support, Mr Saunders asks them to register their availability with Volunteering Otago and Volunteering Central (for Central Otago and the Queenstown Lakes District), the organisations coordinating volunteer efforts on behalf of CDEM Otago. 

“It’s critical that our volunteering efforts are coordinated and carried out safely if we are to maintain the requirements around physical distancing. Volunteering Otago and Volunteering Central are the experts when it comes to coordinating volunteers and we are asking anyone who wants to assist the civil defence response to register with them first.” 

“Our emergency operations centres in each of the districts have been working with them to provide volunteers to those in need and give them the appropriate guidance to protect them and those they are working with.” 

 

 

Mr Saunders said that each of the local councils were receiving requests for welfare support from their communities and continuing to provide this was a priority for CDEM Otago. 

“We know there are vulnerable people in our community who are without support at this time. We are working closely with the Ministry of Social Development, local councils, NGOs and welfare agencies across the region to identify these people and connect them with the support they require.

“A regional COIVD 19 help centre has been set up in Otago and will operate 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week to receive requests for welfare assistance.” 

Mr Saunders said anyone requiring welfare support at this time should in the first instance email help@otagocdem.govt.nz or call 0800 322 4000 for more information on how to get support.   

Mr Saunders acknowledged the Dunedin City Council who had offered to staff the call centre on behalf of the region.

“Dunedin City Council has put their hands up to manage the call centre for the region. Requests will then be passed on to the civil defence teams in each of the district or city councils who will respond to the welfare needs identified.”

ENDS

For more information please contact:  

Public Information Team  

027 605 2113 or Michele Poole 027 839 8306

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